During the summer of 2015 I had a weekend where my wife and kids were going to be out of town and I wanted to find an epic place to hike. I was planning to drive somewhere on Friday night, spend the night in my van at the trailhead, and then spend all day Saturday hiking and covering as many miles as possible.
As I was looking for potential places to hike, I came across an article online (might have been on backpacking.com) that said that the Alice/Toxaway Loop trail was one of the "can't miss" trails in the state of Idaho.
I set out on the last Saturday of July, 2015. I left my van before the sun came up and got some good pictures of the full moon still in the sky, just as the sunlight was hitting the tops of the peaks.
The trail itself is very well maintained, and it doesn't take long before you realize that it is a really wonderful place to hike.
I did see a lot of wildlife on the trail, including several deer that didn't seem all that scared of me, and a black bear.
Most of the reviews I read about the trail said that it is doable in one day, but that a two to three day hike is recommended. I fully agree with that recommendation. I spent the entire day (although I did take lots of side trails) and while doing some running, but mostly hiking, I was out on the trail from around 5:30 am until 9:00 pm. This trail will definitely be one of my all time favorites and I can't wait to go back again. I highly recommend it to anyone.
To get to the trailhead you start at Petit Lake. If you can't do the whole thing, make sure you go on the south part of the loop first toward Alice Lake as that half of the trail is definitely much more scenic. I also found a small trail between the Twin Lakes and Toxaway Lake (right at the top of Snowside Pass, that will take you to the top of Snowside Peak. From up near the top of Snowside Peak you will get some of the most amazing views you can possibly imagine.
Sitting over 2,000 feet above the Twin Lakes and seeing "Sawtooth" mountains in every direction is simply breathtaking.